Second Most FAQ: What made you choose Merrimack?
This can also be asked as, “Why did you choose to buy a 100 year old house in need of lots of repair?” “Why did you choose to live three blocks form the ghetto?” “Why do you live on THAT side of the town?” “Why did you buy a dump?”
All excellent questions!
I mentioned how we found Merrimack Mill Village over a year ago when we first bought the house. It all started with an article in The Huntsville Times and This Old House. You can read more in detail about that here. Remember this first picture I posted?
We immediately loved it here. We loved the people who warmly welcomed us and calmed some of our fears. We loved the potential of a house that we could make entirely ours. We loved being right in the middle of town. Obviously, I love old houses!
But there are some draw backs. If you are familiar with the Huntsville area, you probably know that West Huntsville is not seen as desirable. We are in the worst school zone. We are in the area with the highest crime rate. We probably have the highest crime rate (just a guess). Our zip code has the lowest family income in all of Huntsville. Sounds glamorous, right? 😉 You totally want to move now, right?
Despite all of those “lovely” things, we know this is the area we want to live in and raise a family in. This whole house adventure has been crazy from the start, but we have always been at peace that this is where we needed to be. Here. In Merrimack. In West Huntsville.
When I think about what we REALLY want to teach our children (not ABCs or math or a well rounded taste in music), but important life lessons I can narrow it down to two things.
1) Love God. All the time.
2) Love People. All People. Rich. Poor. Straight. Gay. Black. White. Purple. Educated. Drop Outs. Hookers. Preachers. Engineers. Bus Drivers. Young People. Old People. PEOPLE.
I need to paste that on the front door, so I can read it every day.
Well, Ryan and I decided the best way to teach our children to love all kinds of people was to live in an area with ALL kinds of people. I don’t want them to grow in an area with only people just like them. I want them to be around a wide range of people. Merrimack has that. It is a combination of people living in poverty, people in the working class, and a few middle class people sprinkled in (that would be us). I think there are also a few folks that would rather sit on their porch doing nothing and live off the government instead of actually working for a living. I try not to give them dirty looks, but I am not always successful.
Another reason I love Merrimack is that it forces me to count my blessings daily. I seriously cannot drive down my street without realizing I am abundantly blessed. Healthy husband. Family. Jobs. Income. Education. Fur babies. Common sense. Food. My life is good. Really really good. I have done nothing to deserve God’s grace and blessings.
We want to be a part of a positive change in West Huntsville. We aren’t sure exactly how or what that is yet, but there are plenty of needs here.
Poverty. Drugs. Prostitutes. Children with crappy parents. Terrible Schools. NEEDS! So many needs.
Living in West Huntsville is our calling, and we are here for the long haul.